Oak updates

25 January 2023

Road test new science resources and tell us how we can improve

Elisabeth Pugh

Subject Lead (science)

Tell us what you want us to improve in our lesson planning and teaching resources

In a few months time, we’ll begin working with new partners to create thousands of new, improved lesson planning and teaching resources. Before we do, we’re making sure we’re ready to start this exciting work.

Our first step has been to trial how we’ll work with our partners and teachers to create our new teaching resources. We’ve therefore collaborated with a group of science teachers to create a small number of resources for key stage 3 and 4 science.

Now we’re embarking on the next phase of our preparation: gathering views from teachers about what they want from our new resources, from how they’re structured and designed to how we make them easy to adapt.

In this blog, we explain how you can get involved in road testing the science resources in your classroom and our plans to do the same with other subjects and key stages soon.

Trialling new ways of working with teachers

To test how we’ll work with new partners and teachers to create our brand new resources, we ran a trial with a team of eight science teachers.

The teachers worked with us to create five short sequences of lesson planning and teaching resources that cover some fundamental knowledge of KS3 and KS4 biology and chemistry, and KS3 physics.

You can find the new resources here:

While working with the teachers, we gained valuable insight into how to make a quality lesson with effective teaching resources. It also gave us an opportunity to test, refine and improve the support we give to teachers who create resources for us.

We’ve now got tried and tested tools and processes that we’ll use to help the curriculum partners and teachers we work with to create our new resources.

Reviewing and iterating to make the best resources we can

We’re proud of the existing teaching resources we have. They were made by over 500 dedicated and hardworking teachers from across the country during a pandemic.

Our research found 95% of teachers are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of them (1), but as any teacher believes, we can always improve. That’s why we’re developing a brand new curriculum and thousands of new, improved resources that are better suited for planning and teaching in the classroom.

While the focus of this project was on trialling how we'll make our new resources, we have made some small improvements to the resources based on feedback we’ve gathered over the last few years, including:

  • Structuring teaching resources into learning cycles consisting of explanation (E), checks for understanding (C) and practice (P).
  • Making improvements to the design of our slide decks and optimising cognitive load.
  • Making worksheets print-friendly.
  • Incorporating a wider variety of questions and distractors into our quizzes that address common misconceptions.

However, we know there’s more we can do. To help us shape how we design new teaching resources with our partners, we want to be guided by what you tell us you want and need.

Try the new science resources in your classroom and share your feedback, so we can make improvements to better suit your needs. Email us at [email protected].

We won’t be stopping there. Soon, we’ll share lesson planning and teaching resources across other subjects and key stages to road test too. Every time we share something we’ll have made improvements based on your prior feedback.

Not a science teacher but still want to help shape Oak?

Interested in road testing lesson planning and teaching resources in your subject and telling us what we could improve? Register your interest via this form and we’ll let you know when they’re available.

Looking for another way to get involved? There are so many other ways you can help shape the future of Oak. Find out more in our blog.

(1) Oak research survey, 310 respondents, March 2022